Advent 2022: Ready to Ride

Published December 9, 2022 by Mary Stedham

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

It was an extremely cold morning, even by West Texas standards, but the weather didn't deter our elated five-year-old son Nathan for a moment. He bundled up (as he was told he must) and out into the yard he went. Santa had left him the big-boy bike he had hoped for, and he was ready to ride!

Now this is the same youngster who had just a few months earlier passed me as I arrived home one beautiful fall afternoon and headed into the garage with great resolve. All I heard was, "It's time!" I had watched him emerge moments later with a set of tools in hand. I have no idea how he knew what tools were needed to remove the training wheels from his bike or how to use them, but he obviously had good instincts. Minutes later the training wheels lay on the ground beside his little red bike, and he was headed to the street to prove he could ride without their assistance. I watched for just a moment and then headed inside with my groceries, fully believing I could prepare dinner before he mastered his new task.

I was sorely wrong. I was in the kitchen, barely starting to prepare our meal when I heard the door slam on the other side of the house, and Nathan tore down the long hall that led to the kitchen. He was jumping and shouting every step of the way as he ran... "I did it! I did it!! I DID IT!!!" The same determined kid who had been filled with resolve and hope was now filled with joy! One seems to lead to the other...

No wonder he was quick to take to the streets that Christmas morning. His world was opening up, and he didn't want to waste a moment. He had high hopes for the days of adventure that lay ahead.

That was just the way that kindergartener approached life... and still does, almost 40 years later. It fits, then, that just one week later when we sat down for lunch on New Year's Day Nathan volunteered to say the blessing... one I have never forgotten.

Dear Lord, thank you for this brand new year you have given us!! And be with all the people who are not having a good new year yet, and they're just waitin' and waitin' and waitin'... AMEN!

It seems that he had figured out in his five short years that there will be times of waitin' in this world. Some people will wait because they are afraid, others because they are indecisive. But some wait because they know it is not yet time. The key to times of waiting, whatever creates them, would appear to be hope. When we wait filled with hope—hopefully—God can let us know when it is time. And He can and will empower us and give us courage to step out, unleashing the great joys that await us.

For what are you waiting? Are you allowing God to fill you with hope?